How to remove carpet stains

When anything spills on a rug, the first step is to get it up quickly. For a liquid like juice, blotting is the best bet; for a thicker substance, use a spoon to lift off as much as you can, working from the outside to the middle.

How to remove carpet stains

Basic stain removal tips

To remove the remaining stain, work in the appropriate cleaner with a clean, white, absorbent cloth. (Pretest on an inconspicuous spot first to make sure the solution won't damage fibres or dyes.) Blot and repeat until the spot no longer transfers to the cloth. Then use clean water to remove any remaining residue. Absorb any moisture with paper towels. Let the area dry, and then vacuum.

The following will explore different types of stains and their removal options.

Alcoholic beverage

  • Use a detergent solution, mixing one millilitre (1⁄4 teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent with 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water. (Never use a stronger concentration, nor an automatic dishwashing detergent, nor a laundry detergent, which may contain such additives as optical brighteners and bleaches.)

Blood

Use an ammonia solution, mixing 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) household ammonia with 250 millilitres (one cup) water.

Candle wax

  • Chip off surface wax. Place several layers of paper towel over remaining wax, then apply warm iron and draw wax into the towel.
  • Or use an acetone-based nail polish remover or a spot dry-cleaning solution with acetone.

Chocolate

Use a gentle oil solvent, such as a spot dry-cleaning solution with acetone.

Cosmetics

Use a gentle oil solvent, such as a spot dry-cleaning solution with acetone or acetone-based nail polish remover.

Fruit juice

Use a liquid detergent solution, mixing five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent with 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water. Dab with white vinegar.

Grease/oil

Use a gentle oil solvent, such as a spot drycleaning solution with acetone. Follow up with five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent mixed in 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water.

Ink/ballpoint pen

Use a gentle dry-cleaning solvent. Follow with five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent mixed in 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water.

Mildew

  • Use a liquid chlorine bleach solution, mixing five millilitres (one teaspoon) bleach to 250 millilitres (one cup) water.
  • Follow up with a liquid detergent solution, mixing five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent with 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water.

Milk

  • Use a liquid detergent solution, mixing five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent with 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water.
  • Follow up with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) household ammonia in 125 millilitres (1⁄2 cup) water.

Mud

Follow directions for milk.

Mustard/ketchup

Follow directions for milk.

Paint

For oil-based paints, follow directions for grease and oil. For latex paints, follow directions for milk stain removal.

Rust

Use a commercial rust remover or a solution of 125 millilitres (1⁄2 cup) white vinegar and 250 millilitres (one cup) water.

Shoe polish

  • Follow directions for grease and oil.Soft drinksUse a liquid detergent solution, mixing five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent with 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water.
  • Follow up with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) household ammonia in 125 millilitres (1⁄2 cup) water.

Toothpaste

  • Use a liquid detergent solution, mixing five millilitres (one teaspoon) liquid dishwashing detergent with 250 millilitres (one cup) lukewarm water.
  • Follow up with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) household ammonia in 125 millilitres (1⁄2 cup) water.

Urine

Use a commercial enzyme cleaner.

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